John Mahoney has left the building

When the Americans get a sitcom right, they get it right. I enjoyed, but was never obsessive about Cheers, but I loved Frasier and watched it intently.

British born actor John Mahoney played Frasier and Niles’ improbable Dad, Martin, the ex-cop, shot in the line of duty and left permanently lame, who was central to the whole concept of the show. Martin was the irascible, ever-present commentary on the Crane boys’ pretensions, the bubble-burster, the fish-out-of-water who pointed up just how delicious the refined world of Frasier Crane wasn’t.

His presence also required Daphne Moon.

And he was bloody funny, a master of timing, a picture of perfection. He was just brilliant.

And now he’s died, aged 77. Thank you, John, for who you were and what you did. Some people should live forever. Sadly, only Martin Crane gets that privilege.